Home Recipes Dorito Taco Salad (With Catalina Dressing)

Dorito Taco Salad (With Catalina Dressing)

Make your salad the life of the party with this family-friendly Dorito taco salad!

This isn’t your ordinary taco salad. It’s a flavor blaster! I’m talking about ground beef, shredded cheddar, crunchy Doritos, plenty of taco seasoning, and tangy Catalina dressing. 

Top view of a bowl of Dorito Taco Salad, with beef, tomatoes and corn, bell pepper and greens.
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Say goodbye to mundane leafy greens and hello to this fun food mashup.

It’s a hearty and crunchy crowd-pleaser. It will bring out the kid in you. Even better, the family will love it, too. 

This dish will be a hit for camping trips, potlucks, or picnics. Everyone will happily devour this easy Dorito taco salad!

Dorito Taco Salad Ingredients, ground beef, dressings, seasonings, ground beef,  sliced onions, grated cheese

Taco Salad Ingredients

Dorito taco salad is big on flavor and texture. So, you need several different components to tie it all together. 

Here’s what to pick up:

  • Ground beef. Use a whole pound of ground beef, and be sure to drain the meat. Otherwise, the veggies will get greasy.
  • Taco seasoning. What’s a taco salad without the seasoning? Use a whole packet to enhance the flavor of the beef.
  • Water. Add water to the packet of taco seasoning for simmering the beef. 
  • Romaine hearts. I use the hearts because they’re extra crisp and crunchy. So they don’t wilt readily under all the other ingredients. 
  • Cherry tomatoes. I love the flavor and the look of cherry tomatoes. But any diced tomato variety will do.
  • Cheddar cheese. Mild, medium, or sharp, use any kind you like. A Mexican cheese blend or Pepper Jack are also great substitutes. 
  • Green onion. They add a complementary onion flavor. Other varieties work, but it will change the flavor. 
  • Corn. Fresh is best. But canned or frozen work if corn isn’t in season.
  • Cilantro. For a burst of color and flavor.
  • Doritos. Nacho cheese Doritos all day! Cool Ranch also adds a nice zesty kick. Regular tortilla chips work in a pinch.
  • Catalina dressing. Catalina is the classic dressing of choice. For a substitute, try Thousand Island, Italian, or Ranch dressing.
Dorito Taco Salad with lots of beef, corn and sliced tomato cherries, garnished with chopped cilantro and green onion.

How to Make Dorito Taco Salad

You can make this beef taco salad in 20 minutes tops. Just follow these steps:

  1. Cook the beef. In a large skillet, brown the beef over medium heat. Drain the grease, then add the taco seasoning and water. Bring it to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer it for 3-4 more minutes. Set it aside and let the ground beef cool slightly. 
  1. Mix in the veggies and cheese. Add the romaine, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, green onions, corn, and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix everything until combined.
  1. Add the chips and beef. Add the Doritos into the bowl with the veggies and cheese, then toss to combine. Top it with the ground beef.
  1. Drizzle with the dressing and serve. Drizzle the salad with Catalina dressing or the dressing of your choice. Serve it immediately. 
A bowl of Dorito Taco Salad, with beef, sliced tomato cherries, corn, chips garnished with chopped onions and cilantro

Tips and Variations

For the best Dorito taco salad, follow these tips. I also threw in a few tasty variations to mix things up. 

  • Try a leaner meat. Ground turkey or ground chicken are both excellent options. 
  • Ramp up the protein with beans. Black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans are a few recommendations.
  • Use your own taco seasoning blend. Make your own spice mix or try Taco Bell seasoning. Either way, you can omit the water. Instead, just season the beef. 
  • Make it vegetarian-friendly. Need a meat-free dish? No problem! Just swap out the ground beef for plant-based protein crumbles.
  • Use a hardy lettuce. Like romaine, a crisp lettuce variety like iceberg works too. You want something that won’t wilt fast.
  • Toss it right before serving. The longer the salad sits, the soggier it gets. It’s best to toss it with the dressing right before serving it. That way, the vegetables and chips remain crispy and crunchy. 
  • Serve it in a chip bag. Have you ever had walking tacos? You can do the same thing with this salad. Just open up individual-sized Doritos bags and top them with the salad.
  • Choose your favorite toppings. Have fun with the toppings, and use your favorites. Try homemade salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, avocado, jalapeno, bell peppers, whatever you like. 
A white bowl of Dorito Taco Salad with beef, corn, sliced tomato cherries, drizzled with sauce

What to Serve with Taco Salad 

Want to make it part of a larger meal? There are plenty of options! Sides, dips, or entrees, take your pick.

Here are a few of my top recommendations:

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips 

Can you make this salad ahead of time? Absolutely! 

I love making this dish in advance when my week is looking busy. But you don’t want to toss everything together and let it sit. Otherwise, it will get soggy.

Instead, follow these tips for prepping and storing:

  • To Make-Ahead: Cook the ground beef, chop the veggies, and shred the cheese. Keep those three components in separate air-tight containers and refrigerate them. You can do this 1 day in advance.
  • To Store: Store leftovers in an air-tight container and refrigerate them. Enjoy them within 3 days. Keep in mind that the salad will get soggy the longer it sits. Also, do not freeze it. The salad will turn mushy, and the texture won’t be palatable.

Dorito Taco Salad (With Catalina Dressing)



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Prep time


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This Dorito taco salad with Catalina dressing is such a treat! It’s crispy, crunchy, and full of the savory taco flavors you love.


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 packet taco seasoning

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 2-3 romaine hearts, chopped

  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped

  • 1/2 cup corn

  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 2 cups Doritos, broken into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 cup Catalina dressing or dressing of your choice


  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s browned, drain off the grease. Add the taco seasoning and the water. Bring it to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Simmer it for 3-4 more minutes. Let the ground beef cool slightly. Set it aside.
  • Add the romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, green onions, corn, and cilantro to a large bowl. Mix everything until combined.
  • Add the Doritos into the bowl and toss to combine. Then top it with the ground beef.
  • Drizzle the salad with Catalina dressing or dressing of your choice. Serve it immediately.
Dorito Taco Salad

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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